For the first time in more than two years, Amtrak is resuming service on one of its most scenic routes: The Amtrak Cascades route, which runs from Oregon to Vancouver and weaves through some of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful natural formations along the way.
The Cascade route was first paused in spring 2020, as travel between the U.S. and Canadian borders shut down due to the pandemic. Now, tickets are on sale again for the route’s relaunch on September 26. When the route first resumes, Amtrak will operate one daily roundtrip between Seattle and Vancouver, stopping at five cities in Washington state along the way: Edmonds, Everett, Stanwood, Mount Vernon, and Bellingham. (Normally the full route runs from Eugene, Oregon, up to Vancouver.)
Two years ago, Amtrak was facing a “near-death” experience, Stephen Gardner, CEO of the national passenger rail service, said at a briefing last week with the Association for a Better New York. Both business and travel leisure rapidly grinded to a halt, causing ticket sales to drop 97 percent in a matter of weeks.
Now, the agency is seeing an unprecedented demand for Amtrak seats and rapidly moving to add service to new cities across the nation.
Ridership on the Northeast Corridor is only down 15 percent from 2019 levels, with some routes surpassing pre-pandemic levels. “It’s really very positive that even though the world has changed so much in Covid, we see really strong interest in passenger rail and a whole new generation of riders coming into the network,” Gardner said.
By Carl Nolte, June 18, 2022, Updated: June 18, 2022 10:40 a.m.
The long vacation trip to Europe fell through. Too complicated. So now this season’s vacation plan calls for something different: short getaway trips around the West.
And the best so far has been a quick trip to Santa Barbara by train. Something different.
It was the Sailor Girl’s idea. She’s my companion and the navigator on small adventures. “We’ll go first class,” she said, “in one of those little rooms. It’ll be fun.” She didn’t have to say it twice. I’m a believer in the gospel according to Edna St. Vincent Millay: “There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, no matter where it’s going.”
We rode Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, down to Santa Barbara on Friday and back again on Sunday. The Starlight is a long-distance train and runs 1,377 miles every day down the West Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles. So we just did a portion of the run, enough to get a good feel. It’s not our first time on the Starlight, and every trip is a bit different.
Nearly 500 miles of Alaska are ready for you to see this summer now that the Alaska Railroad returns to its full summer service.
It’s been two years of reduced travel seasons, but this summer, there will be three daily routes as well as regular flagstop service (which allows passengers to get on and off the train at any point in some of the state’s most beautiful wilderness regions with the wave of a flag — literally) and chartered cruise trains.
The Ideal Way To Visit The Best Of Alaska
“We’re excited to return to a full season of daily summer trains, to give our guests more opportunities and flexibility to get out and travel Alaska,” said Alaska Railroad Marketing Communications Manager Meghan Clemens in a news release.
The routes will welcome you back to Whittier and Seward, the airports in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and connect you to national parks, charming towns, and parts of the Chugach National Forest you can only get to by rail. Daily routes will connect you from the coast of Seward to Fairbanks in the interior.
Spring has officially started, and if that makes you want to get out and explore, you’re not alone.
But with gas prices continuing to soar, a road trip may not be the most cost-effective way of doing that right now.
But from now through Tuesday, March 29th, you can snag a USA Rail Pass from Amtrak—which gets you 30 days of train travel—for $399. Here’s what to know.
How Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass works
So what do you get for $399 (other than $100 off the usual price)?
The USA Rail Pass is good for 10 train rides (officially known as “segments”) over a 30-day period, allowing you to travel between more than 500 Amtrak destinations. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…